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Kiev impedes discussion of local elections in Donbass during Minsk talks

Leonid Kuchma, Kiev representative at the Minsk talks, former president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma. Photo: politrada.com

The sub-group for political issues of the Contact Group on peaceful settlement in Ukraine postponed the discussion of the elections to the local self-government in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) due to lack of constructive initiatives by the Ukrainian party, according to the press office of Denis Pushilin, the head of the DPR delegation to the peace talks, parliament speaker.

“Ukraine’s representatives mentioned in passing the issue of holding elections on October 18. OSCE representative more actively insisted on cancellation of the announced elections,” Pushilin said. “However, it was agreed to postpone this issue, as Ukraine made no steps towards creation of conditions to resume the discussions.”

According to the source, the suggestion to hold a second round of the local elections on February 21 – DPR and LPR representatives made such suggestion to Kiev earlier – was not discussed at the last round of the talks.

As EADaily reported earlier, on September 29, the two-day negotiations of the subgroups for political and securities issues were over in Belarus. Yesterday, the Contact Group on Ukraine held its final consultations on the activity of the subgroups. Long discussions at the subgroup on security issues resulted in a landmark agreement on withdrawal of heavy weapons with the caliber of up to 100mm from the engagement line. It took the parties several months to initial the document, as the Ukrainian side was delaying with the process.

Head of the DPR Alexander Zakharchenko signed a decree on elections to the local self-government on September 16. On October 18, the citizens will be electing the heads of 13 city communities and 4 regional administrations. Election of the village community leadership is planned for the following stages of the campaign in the first half of 2016. 

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